Images courtesy of
1974 One Cent pieces were struck in Aluminum, a
handful going to members of Congress and staff members.
The entire mintage was destroyed except for an estimated dozen examples
that were never recovered from the Congressmen and their staffs.
One example resides in the
National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, having been
turned over to the museum by Charles Holstein, staff director for the
House Banking Subcommittee at the time.
In early 2001, a report
surfaced that an unnamed grading service had examined a 1974 Aluminum
Cent, but had not authenticated or encapsulated the coin. The coin
was reportedly in the hands of the family of a deceased Capitol Hill
police officer who found the piece in 1973 "on the pavement while on
duty in the basement of the House Office Building" where the officer
believed it had been dropped by a Congressman.
Type I Aluminum Cent blanks
are known. One was donated to the National Numismatic Collection in
the mid-1980's by David L. Ganz, who had been present during the
Congressional hearings concerning the changes in the metal composition of
the Cent. Ganz also donated a Type 1 Aluminum Cent blank to the
American Numismatic Association and sold a third in a 1994 auction
conducted by Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.
In 1994, a former employee
at a Pennsylvania steel mill sent a previously unknown, bronze-clad steel
cent to Coin World. The employee found the coin in 1974 when Mint
officials brought bags of the bronze-clad steel Cents to the steel mill to
be destroyed. Reportedly, one bag broke open and not all of the
coins were recovered.
Both the Aluminum and
Bronze-clad Steel 1974 Cents are illegal to own.
The finest Uncirculated Red-Brown
examples graded by PCGS are 2 MS-64RB's.
The finest Uncirculated Red
examples graded by PCGS are 41 MS-67RD's.
Coin World, March 5, 2001, pages 1 and 85
"The PCGS Population Report, October 2003" by The Professional Coin